Gold & Silver Daily

Ed's Critical Reads

Sep 23, 2014

Falling used-car prices roil the auto market

Used-car prices are sliding, a boon to penny-pinchers, but troubling for new-car sales.

The auto industry sales recovery in recent years means millions of used cars, many coming off lease, are starting to flood the market. The result is a decline in used-car prices that zoomed sky-high after the recession. And the decline is leading to talk that new-car auto sales growth may be peaking.

"We're going to see a tremendous increase in used-car supply over the next couple of years," says Larry Dominique, an executive vice president of auto-pricing site TrueCar.

That used-car cascade could dampen new-car sales in three ways.

This is very interesting story showed up on the usatoday.com Internet site on Sunday---and the first story of the day is courtesy of reader Ward Pace.

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'I had no choice,' says Sarkozy of political comeback

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy said Sunday that he "had had no choice" but to return to politics, stating that he had never seen such "despair" in France.

In a 45-minute prime time television interview on France 2, Sarkozy outlined his bid to lead the opposition UMP party and launched a scathing attack on Socialist President François Hollande.“I don’t want my country to be condemned to the humiliating state of affairs that we have today or the perspective of total isolation'' that he predicts will happen if France's far-right National Front party continues its rise.

This news item appeared on the france24.com Internet site on Sunday---and it's the first offering of the day from Roy Stephens.

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‘Europe getting fed up with the U.S. business influence’

Europeans’ anger with their governments over US-led sanctions against Russia can go “quite far” as they are fed up with US business influence helping arms exporters and NATO, but not average Europeans, former British diplomat William Mallinson told RT.

RT: On Friday, French farmers in the city of Brest in Brittany set local tax office on fire, in protest against tit-for-tat sanctions with Russia. Is the Russian food ban hitting European businesses that bad, making people that desperate?

William Mallinson: Yes. What we have to remember is that the EU is originally founded on the livelihood for farmers and for supplying food to Europeans. Despite the fact that there is a very large number of huge farms, in France, in particular, [there are] still a lot of small farmers. The French agriculturalists are one of the most powerful political forces in France. I remember the Poujadists in 1960-70s [a movement named after Pierre Poujade that articulated the economic interests and grievances of shopkeepers and other proprietor-managers of small businesses facing economic and social change - RT]; they are quite capable of causing major problems for the government.

This article showed up on the Russia Today website at 1:32 p.m. Moscow time on their Monday afternoon---and it's the second contribution of the day from Roy Stephens.

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Russian sanctions ‘de facto against European business’ – Alstom chief

Russia has become a strategic market for thousands of European companies, and sanctions put E.U. business at risk, Philippe Pegorier, President of Alstom Russia , told RT at a Sochi Investment Forum.

“Sanctions against Russia are de facto sanctions against European business,” Philippe Pegorier, President of Alstom Russia, and Chairman of the Association of European Business in Russia (AEB), the largest foreign business association in the country, told RT over the weekend at an international business forum in Sochi .

“We don’t need the government or the E.U. to decide where our priorities are, for us, for many European companies, Russia is a strategy partner and we will remain a strategy partner,” he said.

Pegorier has warned that sanctions against Russia could cause 300,000 layoffs in Germany and at least 100,000 in France.

This is another article from the Russia Today website.  This one was posted there at 3:39 p.m. Moscow time yesterday afternoon---and it's also courtesy of Roy Stephens.

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Moscow warns ‘circles in Washington’ over hindering peace process in Ukraine

Moscow is bewildered by Washington’s warmongering rhetoric, which accompanied President Petro Poroshenko’s visit to the U.S. Russia has also noted all the Russia-unfriendly opinions voiced recently by hawkish American politicians.

“We’ll keep in mind all signals, including those unfriendly towards Russia, that were heard during the visit of the Ukrainian president to Washington,” commented Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov. “We do regret that there are quite influential circles [within the American establishment] that are unambiguously working against the emerging stabilization [in Ukraine],” Ryabkov said.

In short, U.S. senators urged to supply Ukraine with arms to fight against Russia and President Putin.

Senator Robert Mendez, a Democrat who runs the Foreign Relations Committee told CNN, "We should provide the Ukrainians with the type of defensive weapons that will impose a cost upon Putin for further aggression."

This story was also posted on the Russia Today website yesterday, just before lunch Moscow time---and my thanks go out to Roy Stephens once more.

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Turkish security troops clash with Kurds, as thousands flee ISIS

Turkey's security forces closed the border with Syria through which thousands of Kurds are trying to flee IS, after clashes between Kurds and soldiers on the Turkish side of the divide.

The separatist Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is classed as a terrorist organization by Istanbul, called for a solidarity demonstration on Sunday, after 70,000 Kurds crossed from Syria in just 24 hours.

Hundreds of Kurds duly showed up near the barbed wire border fence - some volunteering to join the struggle against IS, others asking to bring over aid to the refugees on the other side of the border.

This Russia Today story, filed from Moscow at 12:43 p.m. Moscow time on the their Sunday afternoon is also courtesy of Roy Stephens.

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Lavrov tells U.S. to respect Syria’s sovereignty while tackling ISIS

Washington should respect the sovereignty of Syria in its attempts to deal with the Islamic state, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a phone call with his US counterpart, John Kerry.

Lavrov and Kerry talked on Sunday at the initiative of the US Secretary of State, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

During the conversation, the Russian FM stressed “the importance of coordinated action... by the international community aimed at countering the threat” coming from the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

However, he warned against “double standards” and “distortion of facts” during the battle against the terrorist group, which has declared a caliphate in the occupied territories of Syria and Iraq.

This is the final story from the Russia Today website---and the final offering of the day from Roy Stephens as well.

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South Africa in '$50m deal' for Russian nuclear reactors

Russia's atomic energy agency said Monday it will provide up to eight nuclear reactors to South Africa by 2023 in a $50m strategic partnership between the two countries.

The delivery of the reactors will enable the foundation of the first nuclear power plant based on Russian technology on the African continent, the Rosatom agency said in a statement.

Director general Sergey Kirienko estimated the value of the deal at between $40 to $50 billion, given that one reactor costs around $5 billion, according to the Itar-Tass news agency. 

This news item was posted on the france24.com Internet site at 7:25 p.m. Europe time on Monday evening---and I thank South African reader B.V. for sharing it with us.

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Eight King World New Blogs/Audio Interviews

1. John Embry:  "The Wild Action in Gold, Silver and Other Markets"  2. Michael Pento: "It's Terrifying to Look at What's Really Happen in the U.S."  3. David P: "Despite Pressure, is Silver Ready to Turn Mega-Bullish?"  4. Robert Fitzwilson: "Western Vampire Machine Waging War Against Russia and China"  5. James Turk: "Two Shocking Charts Expose the Stunning Collapse in the U.S."  6. Richard Russell: "The Grim and Devastating Tragedy of America"  7. The first audio interview is with Bill Fleckenstein----and the second audio interview is with Nigel Farage.

[Please direct any questions or comments about what is said in these interviews by either Eric King or his guests to them, and not to me. Thank you. - Ed]

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Koos Jansen: Chinese gold demand rises 5 percent as international exchange opens

China's gold demand, the off take from the Shanghai Gold Exchange for the most recent week reported, rose nearly 5 percent as China bought the dip, gold researcher and GATA consultant Koos Jansen writes. Jansen also reports the comments made at the opening ceremony of the exchange's international subsidiary, where the governor of the People's Bank of China said that China wants to become a major force in gold pricing.

This article appeared on the bullionstar.com Internet site early on Saturday morning Singapore time---and I found it embedded in a GATA release.

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Is World Gold Council's CEO angling for a tin-foil hat?

MineWeb's Lawrence Williams reports an interesting comment by the World Gold Council's chief executive, Aram Shishmanian, about the opening of the international subsidiary of the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

"The growth of the Shanghai Gold Exchange to become the world's largest physical gold exchange provides compelling evidence that the future for gold is physical," Shishmanian said. "As the market shifts from west to east, the expansion of strong gold trading hubs in Asia will improve price discovery, liquidity, transparency, and efficiency, all of which will transform the landscape of the global gold market."

So, then, does the World Gold Council believe after all that the present gold market is not really physical and transparent at all but rather shadowy and highly manipulated by derivatives and that, as a result, price discovery needs to be improved?

That kind of talk could sound like an application for a tin-foil hat. Williams should ask Shishmanian whether he wants one. We here at GATA's tin-foil hat factory would be delighted to oblige.

The rest of this commentary by Chris Powell, along with the mineweb.com story from Lawrie, falls into the must read category---and it was posted on the gata.org Internet site on Saturday.

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Russia central bank buys more gold and builds bilateral trade with China

While we will probably have to wait another few days until the IMF publishes its latest statistics for the global picture, the Russian central bank has announced that it has added another 9.3 tonnes of gold to its official gold reserves. This is as tensions now seem to be diminishing in Ukraine which could, if the latest agreement holds, lead to Western sanctions against Russia being gradually withdrawn.

Russian gold reserves now stand at 1,113.5 tonnes, the world’s fifth largest national holding, thus climbing even further above China’s 'official' 1,054 tonnes. However few out there seem to believe that China doesn’t have more gold than it announces to the IMF, but is holding considerable amounts in some other government controlled accounts. Overall Russia has just about doubled its gold reserves since the 2007/2008 financial crisis and its central bank has been a net buyer almost every month since. The figures suggest that that the monthly increases have primarily come from the central bank taking in a significant proportion of the country’s domestic gold output which averaged around 20 tonnes a month in 2013; last year Russia was the world’s third largest producer of gold and this year could surpass Australia and move into the No. 2 position behind China.

Russia, like China, perhaps somewhat belatedly, has come to see its gold holdings as a significant positive in any new world financial order that may develop over the next decade.  American financial policy has dominated world trade for almost a century but there are powerful economic forces out there – notably involving various countries, including China and Russia, building trade ties in their own domestic currencies and thus starting to bypass the dollar. Energy trade is particularly significant in this respect as the U.S. dominance in setting the terms of world trade has been very much down to the virtually total dominance of the dollar in global oil and gas transactions.

Historically the country with the most gold has been able to dominate global trade – barbarous relic or no – and while the West may see this coming to an end there is an enormous, and ever wealthier, part of the world’s population which still believes in gold as the key global monetary asset. China and Russia are both strong believers in gold and the potential negotiating position it enables. At some stage soon the validity of their belief is going to be put to the test.

Here's another commentary from Lawrie.  This one was posted on the mineweb.com Internet site on Monday sometime---and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for pointing it out.  It's certainly worth reading as well.

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Hugo Salinas Price: The tribute the world pays to the empire

In his latest commentary Hugo Salinas Price, president of the Mexican Civic Association for Silver, explains how foreign exchange surpluses kept in the bonds of countries that issue reserve currencies are actually the tax or tribute lesser countries pay to the empires that dominate them. Countries that hold such bonds in exchange for their exports have not really been paid and never will be paid, Salinas Price writes. In the old days, he adds, exporting nations could be paid by exchanging fiat currencies for gold.

His commentary is headlined "The Tribute the World Pays to the Empire" and it's posted at the civic association's Internet site, plata.com.mx---and I found all of the above in a GATA release on Sunday.  I can't get this website to load on either my home computer, or my laptop. So if it doesn't work for you, there's nothing I can do to help.

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Established rivals may keep Shanghai trade zone's gold exchange in check

China's launch of an international gold exchange in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone 11 days ahead of schedule last week, may not be much help as it seeks to compete with established gold markets such as New York, London or Singapore.

While China is the largest physical gold consumer in the world, the financial infrastructure may lag that of Singapore and Hong Kong in handling a gold market.

Gold traders believe the gold market in the FTZ would attract domestic and foreign investors to trade, but catching up with the major international players will not come quickly.

This gold-related news item showed up on the South China Morning Post website in the wee hours of Monday morning local time---and it's another item I found on the gata.org Internet site.

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New Gold Fix Planned By LBMA In Desperate Attempt to Maintain Status Quo

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) is quietly planning its new gold fix in a desperate attempt to maintain the status quo.

Reuters reported Friday that according to the LBMA, there are at least 15 companies interested in running the upcoming replacement to the London ‘Gold Fixing’ auction. Like the recently introduced replacement to the ‘Silver Fixing’ which is now being run by the CME Group and Thomson Reuters, the LBMA has appointed itself as the coordinator for a new London Gold Price auction and is currently soliciting Requests for Proposals (RfPs) from interested parties.

When the new silver fixing auction was being debated in the summer, the World Gold Council (WGC) took the initiative and organised a conference of gold market participants including miners and refiners to work out the key features of a new gold price auction. This WGC initiative appears to have been shot down by the LBMA who felt threatened that a gold mining representative organisation was muscling in on the London gold ‘price discovery’ mechanism.

In advance of the LBMA choosing the winning bid, which may well be CME Group/Thomson Reuters again, the LBMA will be holding another seminar for ‘market participants’ that will feature presentations from the short-listed candidates. 

This article appeared on the Zero Hedge website at 4:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon---and I thank reader Harry Grant for sending it our way.

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U.K.'s Royal Mint's Tip for Investors: Go for Gold

It has provided gold coins for kings, queens, and governments for hundreds of years, but the Royal Mint is opening its services to the public with a new trading website.

It is encouraging members of the public to become gold investors, claiming that the precious metal is now "relatively affordable."

It is hoped that the website will convince everyday investors to buy bullion coins struck in gold or silver directly from the Royal Mint, after previously being put off by the complexity of investing.

This article put in an appearance on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site at 11:33 p.m. BST on their Sunday evening---and this is another gold-related item I found in a GATA release.

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Gold price suppression covered fully by GATA secretary treasurer Chris Powell on 'The Larry Parks Show'

Thanks to the interviewer's knowledge of the issue and willingness to spend time on it, your secretary/treasurer got to cover many aspects of the Western gold price suppression scheme last week on "The Larry Parks Show," broadcast on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network in New York. Parks was so adept because he is executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education.

Among the aspects discussed were the U.S. government's having authorized itself to rig all markets secretly, the U.S. government documents recently disclosed showing that central banks are trading secretly in all major U.S. futures markets, the other documents GATA has compiled proving the gold price suppression scheme, why the gold mining industry refuses to do anything about it, why the scheme will keep succeeding until gold investors shun "paper gold," and the treason of the central bankers in developing countries.

The interview being so comprehensive, it would be an especially good one for gold investors and anti-imperialists to recommend to government officials, financial journalists, and gold and silver company executives.

The interview is 30 minutes long---and can be viewed at the Vimeo Internet site.  This GATA release and embedded video easily falls into the absolute must watch category---and should be given the widest possible distribution.

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Sep 20, 2014

Marc Faber: There's a bubble in everything---everywhere!

Even after the Dow and the S&P 500 closed at new all-time highs, closely followed contrarian Marc Faber keeps sounding the alarm.

"We have a bubble in everything, everywhere," the publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday. Faber has long argued that the Federal Reserve's massive asset purchasing programs and near-zero interest rates have inflated stock prices.

The catalyst for a market decline, as he sees it, could be a "raise in interest rates, not engineered by the Fed," referring an increase in bond yield

There are two short interviews back to back here, both totaling a bit over 4 minutes---and they run concurrently.  The first reader through the door with this CNBC video clip yesterday, was Ken Hurt.

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Household Net Worth Hits Record $81.5 Trillion In Q2 Driven By Stock Market Surge

[Early Thursday], the Fed released its latest Z.1 (Flow of Funds report) for the second quarter, there were no surprises: thanks to the relentless liquidity injections by global central banks (charted here) resulting in record stock market levels, total household net worth rose once more, increasing by $1.4 billion in the quarter (up from a downward revised $1.2 billion in the previous quarter) to a new record high $81.5 billion.

This was the result of a $95.4 trillion in total assets, offset by $13.9 trillion in liabilities, mostly mortgage debt of $9.4 trillion, as well as some $3.2 trillion in consumer credit, which may or may not account entirely for the student debt bubble.

But perhaps most importantly, the percentage of financial assets as a percentage of total, just rose to the record high level it has never in the past surpassed: 70.3%. As the chart below shows, this is the highest proportion that financial assets have ever hit in the entire history of modern US society. Every time financial assets hit 70.3% of total, either housing values finally pick up and offset the disproportional increase in financial assets, or there has been a crash in financial asset values themselves.

This article, with some excellent charts, appeared on the Zero Hedge website at 1:46 p.m. EDT on Thursday---and it's the first of two stories in a row that I found in yesterday's King Report.

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Doug Noland: Only for wonks

Of late, talk has been that the ECB’s balance sheet would come to the rescue. Count me as deeply skeptical of all the bullish ECB “QE” liquidity propaganda. As such, I see a world of somewhat waning liquidity abundance with an increasingly destabilizing King Dollar bias. There’s risk that escalating EM stress and attendant “hot money” outflows lead to a self-reinforcing de-risking/de-leveraging dynamic. EM companies and countries at this point have way too much dollar-denominated debt. At some point, contagion might negatively impact market expectations for the global economy at large, perhaps leading to a more generalized global “risk off” backdrop.

From the Z.1 we know that Security Credit was up $161bn year-over-year, or 13.7%, to a record $1.333 TN. Fed Funds and Repurchase Agreements were little changed y-o-y at $3.792 TN. Security Broker/Dealer Assets were actually down about 5% y-o-y to $3.388 TN. Funding Corps were down 3.3% y-o-y to $1.312 TN. Clearly, securities leveraging remains integral to overall Credit system operations.

At the same time, there are important sources of global leverage outside the purview of Fed monitoring and Z.1 reporting. There are myriad avenues for “carry trades,” securities shorting and “off-shore” securities financing vehicles, not to mention the murky world of (hundreds of Trillions of) derivatives.

Doug's commentary was posted on the prudentbear.com Internet site on Friday evening---and it's a must read that I'll deal with later today.  I thank reader U.D. for sending it along.

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The Scotland Referendum: Who Voted How And Why?

The following post-referendum poll from Lord Ashcroft does a good summary of who voted how and why. However, the most telling distinction is the following:

  • Voters aged 16-17: YES: 71%; NO: 29%
  • Voters aged 65+: YES: 27%; NO: 73%

How will last night's vote look like in 5, 10 or 15 years when today's 17 year olds are Scotland's prime demographic?

This short Zero Hedge article has an excellent set of numbers---and it's worth a minute of your time.  I thank reader U.D. for sharing it with us.  There was a story about this subject as well posted on the euobserver.com Internet site yesterday.  It's headlined "Scotland's referendum - nothing and everything changes".  My thanks go out to Roy Stephens for that one.

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Spain, Italy, Belgium: Battle lines drawn for independence after Scottish vote

The Scots have lost their stab at independence by a tiny 10-percent margin. Analysts predicted that only a ‘yes’ vote would send waves throughout Europe, but the dire economic situation of other independence-seeking regions can’t be eclipsed so easily.

In a historic referendum on Thursday, Scotland voted 55 to 45 percent to stay in the four-nation United Kingdom.

This 'yes' vote, many have said, would become a major precedent for others to follow - but can this apparent loss by an already prosperous Scotland serve as a demotivator for others? After all, according to the Venetians, or the Catalans, the far more centralized nature of their own main governments - just one factor to consider here - puts them in a markedly different situation to that of Scotland.

This article appeared on the Russia Today website at 9:47 a.m. Moscow time on their Friday morning, which was 1:47 a.m. EDT---and it's courtesy of Roy Stephens.

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Catalonia to press ahead with referendum after Scottish No

Catalan leader Artur Mas has said the Scottish referendum has reinforced his plan to hold a similar vote at home.

Speaking in Barcelona on Friday (19 September), he noted that the devolved Catalan parliament is likely to pass a law on the referendum later the same day.

“I will sign the decree on this consultation in Catalonia. In fact, I will call this consultation on 9 November as agreed some months ago with the majority of Catalan political forces”.

He said he would have preferred it if Scotland had voted Yes.

This news item showed up on the euobserver.com Internet site at 4:06 p.m. Europe time yesterday---and it's the second story in a row from Roy Stephens. 

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Europe's Banks Show Tepid Interest as E.C.B. Begins Program of Cheap Loans

Banks borrowed less than expected from the European Central Bank in a disappointing start for a program intended to encourage more lending to businesses and households and to pump money into the ailing eurozone economy.

The central bank said on Thursday that it would allot nearly 83 billion euros, or about $107 billion, to 255 commercial banks next week. Estimates of how much money banks would borrow had varied widely, but many analysts said before the announcement that anything less than €100 billion would be a disappointment.

The program is part of a broader effort by the central bank to inject as much as €1 trillion into the eurozone economy, and the borrowing data on Thursday was closely watched as an indicator of whether the central bank would be able to meet its goal. The loans are meant to drive down the cost of borrowing and encourage lending, especially in countries like Italy and Portugal, where a lack of credit has impeded economic growth.

This article appeared on The New York Times website on Thursday sometime---and it's something I found in yesterday's edition of the King Report.

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CIA puts on hold all spying operations in Western Europe

The CIA’s European Division has halted its operations in Western Europe in response to several spying scandals in Germany and the continent’s negative reaction to the revelations of spying by the National Security Agency on European leaders and citizens.

The stand-down order has been in effect for two months. It was designed to give CIA officers time to examine whether they were being careful enough and to evaluate whether spying on allies is worth running the risk of discovery, a U.S. official who has been briefed on the situation told the Associated Press.

Case officers in friendly European countries have largely forbidden from undertaking "unilateral operations" such as meeting with sources they have recruited within allied governments. The continent’s countries have long been used as safe venues to conduct meetings between CIA officers and sources from the Middle East and other high priority areas; those encounters have been rerouted to other locales.

The spying stand-down comes at an inopportune time, AP reported, citing worries over Western extremists heading to Syria and Iraq to join with the Islamic State, as well as the standoff with Russia over influence on Ukraine and the independence movement in the eastern part of the country. Tensions have grown between the US and its European allies since Edward Snowden's NSA revelations in June 2013.

This very interesting story appeared on the Russia Today website at 6:20 p.m. Moscow time on their Friday evening---and it's another contribution from Roy Stephens. 

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War over? Both sides in Ukraine conflict sign treaty banning military action

Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk. It creates a buffer zone, demands a pullback of troops and mercenaries, and bans military aviation flybys over the area.

The signed memorandum consists of nine points, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists following peace talks in Minsk, Belarus.

“The first one is stopping the use of weapons by both sides, the second is terminating new formations of units on military bases as of September 19. The third is banning the use of all types of weapons and offensive action,” Kuchma said.

The agreement outlines a buffer zone of 30 km (18.6 miles) and bans all military aircraft from flying over part of eastern Ukrainian territory, except for the OSCE's aerial vehicles, Kuchma told RIA Novosti following the meeting.

This story showed up on the Russia Today website at one minute to midnight Moscow time on their Friday night, which as 3:59 p.m. EDT.  I thank Roy Stephens for sending it our way.

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Third convoy carrying Russian humanitarian aid crosses Ukrainian border

The 200 trucks are carrying foods, including cereals and canned products, power generators, medical supplies, warm clothes and bottled drinking water - 2,000 tonnes all in all.

Before the convoy’s departure Ukrainian customs officials and International Red Cross representatives were repeatedly invited to inspect the cargo. Both refused without offering any reasons.

It is a third batch of Russian humanitarian aid being delivered to the southeast of Ukraine by truck The first two convoys delivered a total of four thousand tonnes humanitarian supplies to Lugansk.

This article showed up on the itar-tass.com Internet site at 5:22 a.m. Moscow time on their Saturday morning---and once again I thank Roy Stephens for finding it for us.

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G20 states are for Russia’s participation in G20 November summit — official

The Group of Twenty (G20) members have supported Russia’s participation in the G20, Australian chief treasurer Joe Hockey told reporters on Friday. He will preside over the G20 meeting of foreign ministers and heads of Central Banks that will be held on September 20 -21.

Asked whether Australia would try to block Russia’s participation in the G20 summit in Brisbane due in November, Hockey said not Australia, but G20 members take decisions on anybody’s participation in G20 work.

The G20 member countries say the door should not be closed, and Russia should take part in the forum. The dialogue should be continued, according to all the G20 member countries. He said G20 is an economic, not a political forum.

This article appeared on the itar-tass.com Internet site at 8:34 a.m. on Friday morning Moscow time---and it's another story from Roy Stephens.

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China Fines GlaxoSmithKline $492 Million, Seeks to Jail Former Manager for Bribery

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline was fined $492 million on Friday for bribing doctors in China in the biggest such penalty ever imposed by a Chinese court.

The court sentenced the company's former China manager, Briton Mark Reilly, and four Chinese co-defendants to prison but postponed the sentences for two to four years, suggesting they may never be served. The court said it granted leniency because the defendants confessed.

The case, first publicized in mid-2013, highlighted the widespread use of payments to doctors and hospitals by sellers of drugs and medical equipment in a poorly funded health system that Chinese leaders have promised to improve. The fine is the largest such penalty ever imposed by a Chinese court.

This very interesting article showed up on the newsmax.com Internet site at 7:38 a.m. EDT on Friday---and it's the first offering of the day from West Virginia reader Elliot Simon.

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Japan postpones new sanctions against Russia — source

Japan has decided to delay the announcement of a new round of sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, which had been earlier planned for Friday, senior government sources have told ITAR-TASS.

The postponement comes as Tokyo wants to follow Moscow’s reaction towards the move. However, Japan has not yet decided to call off the sanctions and is expected to detail the restrictions later.

The announcement could be made next week during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to New York, where he will attend the session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Japanese media reports said Tokyo was due to announce the expansion of sanctions against a range of individuals from Russia and the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, to be subject to the asset freeze and visa ban.

This article put in an appearance on the itar-tass.com Internet site on Friday morning Moscow time---and it's the final offering of the day from Roy Stephens, for which I thank him.

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Japan government cuts economic view, warns of stalling consumption

Japan's government cut its overall economic assessment for the first time in five months as private consumption is struggling to recover from the slump caused by April's sales tax hike, clouding the outlook for a sustained recovery.

The government on Friday cut its view on private consumption, which accounts for about 60 percent of the economy, saying that consumer spending is seen pausing although a pick-up trend remains intact.

The assessment followed a run of weak indicators, including falling household spending, which raised doubt about the strength of an expected bounce in the current quarter - a crucial factor for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision in December on whether to proceed with a second tax rise next year.

So much for rampant money printing.  A Japanese bond isn't worth the paper it's printed on.  This Reuters story, filed from Tokyo, was posted on their website at 12:25 p.m. EDT on Friday---and it's another article I found in yesterday's edition of the King Report.  It's worth reading.

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Three King World News Blogs

1. Art Cashin: "The Next 7 Days May Trigger a Global Stock Market Crash"  2. Bill Fleckenstein: "Responds to Outrageous CNBC Interview"  3. John Ing: "Russians Stunned as Chinese Leader Pushed Gold Backed Yuan

[Please direct any questions or comments about what is said in these interviews by either Eric King or his guests to them, and not to me. Thank you. - Ed]

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Lawrence Williams: The future for gold is physical

At an event [on Thursday] to mark the start of Shanghai Gold Exchange’s gold trading in the city’s free-trade zone (SFTZ) and the creation of the International Board, the Shanghai Gold Exchange and the World Gold Council have stated they will be actively cooperating to develop the SFTZ as an international hub for gold and to work together to develop the gold market in the region. The event was attended by Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People’s Bank of China, Mr. Xu Luode, the Chairman of Shanghai Gold Exchange and Aram Shishmanian, CEO of the World Gold Council.

This collaboration follows on from a partnership signed between the China Gold Association and the World Gold Council in Beijing last week at the China Gold Congress and Expo, which they jointly sponsored. This partnership seeks to promote further international enterprise in China and to enhance the global understanding of China’s role within the global supply chain.

As we commented on the report concerning WGC and PBoC co-operation, one hopes these co-operations are close and will thus help lift the veil on some of the statistical anomalies that beset analytical reports on the massive Chinese gold sector.

This commentary by Lawrie was posted on the mineweb.com Internet site on Thursday---and is worth reading.

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Julian Phillips: Of course gold is manipulated -- the London Gold Pool, 1961-68

In his latest commentary about gold market manipulation, Julian Phillips of the Gold Forecaster letter reviews the establishment of the London Gold Pool, the gold market-rigging mechanism of the Western central banks in the 1960s. The U.S. dollar survived the gold pool's collapse, Phillips writes, because the dollar was still required to purchase oil from the Middle East.

I found this gold-related story embedded in a GATA release yesterday---and I thank Chris Powell for writing the above paragraph of introduction.

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What are your questions for former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan in New Orleans?

GATA again will have a big part in the New Orleans Investment Conference this year, what with GATA Chairman Bill Murphy and your secretary/treasurer making presentations, your secretary/treasurer debating Casey Research founder Doug Casey about whether the gold market is manipulated, and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan not only speaking but taking questions from the audience.

Conference sponsor Brien Lundin of Gold Newsletter and the Jefferson Companies in Louisiana is asking for help in devising questions for Greenspan, and GATA has appended his appeal.

This GATA release from yesterday is worth your time, if you have any left, that is.

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Silver’s ETF Demand Outpaces Gold by Most Ever

Investors in exchange-traded funds backed by silver have stayed loyal to the metal longer than those who bought gold.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows shares outstanding for the biggest U.S. silver ETF surpassing those for the nation’s largest gold fund by the most since 2006, when the iShares Silver Trust was created. Retail buyers are sticking with silver even as prices fell 4.4 percent this year, the most of any precious metal. Gold’s 2 percent gain wasn’t enough to halt declines in selling, and assets in the SPDR Gold Trust are set for a second annual loss.

“The perception is that silver will do well, and should outperform gold as the economic recovery strengthens,” Tom Kendall, the head of commodities research at Credit Suisse in London, said in a telephone interview. “Belief in silver’s dual properties, as a financial asset and also as an industrial metal, appears to remain strong.”

Well, dear reader, there's nothing in here that you don't already know, as Ted Butler and I have been talking about this for several months already. The reasons given for why silver is pouring into SLV is mostly bulls hit, but it's nice to see that at least one news outlet has considered it worth featuring.  This silver-related article was posted on the Bloomberg website at 5 p.m. MDT on Thursday---and I thank Elliot Simon for bringing it to our attention.

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Sep 19, 2014

The Fed Fesses Up: After Printing $3 Trillion It Sees No “Escape Velocity”……Ever!

Wall Street’s and the media’s attention was riveted single-mindedly on whether or not the Fed would include in its statement the two words, “considerable time,” the two vaguest, stretchable latex words available that describe absolutely nothing and leave the door wide open for wishful thinkers of every stripe. That’s what the Fed’s gyrations since the financial crisis have so successfully accomplished; they have reduced the market, a place of price discovery, to a crummy joke.

The Fed delivered those two words, but during the press conference, Fed Chair Janet Yellen doused them with so many qualifiers that they’ve become even more meaningless, if that were even possible.

Wishful thinkers still see Yellen as a pure dove, while others worry that she has turned into a closet hawk who is afraid of letting this tsunami of free liquidity inflate asset bubbles and build up risks so immense that even a minor hiccup would bring down the entire financial system once again. And this time, under her watch.

Clearly, FOMC members, and particularly Yellen, would try hard to dodge blame. But after having printed $3 trillion, and after having forced short-term rates to near zero – and below the rate of inflation – for what likely will be more than six years, and after having messed with the markets throughout, they too can imagine that blame for the fiascos these policies might end up causing will be hard to dodge.

This guest commentary by Wolf Richter was posted on David Stockman's website on Thursday some time---and today's first article is courtesy of Roy Stephens.

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Dirty Secret of $1 Trillion Loans is When You Get Your Money Bac

Imagine a trillion-dollar market that runs on faxes and phone calls while routinely tying up investors’ money for months before they get any return.

That’s not fiction: It’s the unregulated market for leveraged corporate loans. In a financial system that is increasingly automated, the origination and trading of loans is in the relative dark ages while money pours in from mainstream investors such as Kansas and New York pension plans and mutual funds catering to individuals seeking high yields in an era of near-zero interest rates.

The antiquated structure of a market that’s ballooned from a mere $35 billion in 1997 poses a growing threat, raising the odds of gridlock in a downturn when investors expect to get their money back with a click of a button. As of yet, no regulators have taken responsibility for fixing the deficiency.

This longish, but very interesting Bloomberg article, filed from New York, appeared on their Internet site at 9:29 a.m. Denver time yesterday morning---and it's courtesy of reader Howard Wiener.

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CNBC Anchor Calls Out Fed-Hater Bill Fleckenstein In Startling Shouting Match

Bill Fleckenstein of Fleckenstein Capital appeared on CNBC's Futures Now program on Tuesday.

It was kind of a strange segment.

Futures Now host Jackie DeAngelis came out swinging, asking Fleckenstein right at the top if he was willing to admit that he had misunderstood monetary policy.

Sounding taken aback, Fleckenstein answered: "I don't misunderstand monetary policy. I closed my short fund in 2009 because I knew the Fed would print money."

"If you want to pursue idiots like the Fed, and their crazy policies, and you think you can get out in time, go for it," Fleckenstein said. 

This article, with the 2:27 minute video clip at the bottom of the page, was posted on the CNBC website at 11:52 a.m. EDT on Tuesday---and I thank reader David Ball for sending it our way.

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Scotland Rejects Independence From Britain in a Close Vote

Voters in Scotland rejected independence from Britain in a referendum that had threatened to break up a 307-year union, according to projections by the BBC and Sky early Friday.

The outcome was a deep disappointment to the vocal, enthusiastic pro-independence movement led by the Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, who had seen an opportunity to turn a centuries-old nationalist dream into reality, and forced the three main British parties into panicked promises to grant substantial new power to the Scottish Parliament.

The decision spared Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain a shattering defeat that would have raised questions about his ability to continue in office and diminished his nation’s standing in the world.

This article appeared on The New York Times website---and Roy Stephens sent it our way very late last night.  Roy also sent a Reuters article about it linked here.

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‘Flemish independence: better to become good friends than stay together in a bad marriage’

An independent Flanders with Brussels as its capital will be best for the Flemish people who represent 60 percent of the Belgium population, and provide 80 percent of its economy, Flemish MP Tom van Grieken told RT.

Following in the footsteps of Scotland, Veneto in Italy and Catalonia in Spain, and Belgium’s Flemish region may become the next to hold a referendum on independence. The Flanders area of northern Belgium has been claiming its own sovereignty for years, and if it succeeds, Belgium may be no more, along with its being the symbol of a united Europe.

The 2008 financial crisis has boosted separatism movements in Europe, with rich and developed regions in a number of countries starting to voice their discontent with policies from the capital, and the necessity to feed economically weak regions. However, for such Scotland, Catalonia and Flanders it is also a question rooted in the history of the formation of the countries they belong to.

Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia have always been rich and well-developed regions, connected to each other despite language and cultural differences. The artificial creation of the Belgian state put these nations into a difficult situation, forcing them to coexist with people they don’t feel any connections with. Meanwhile, Scotland’s independence vote has inspired the Flemish people with hope to finally create their own state.

This interesting article put in an appearance on the Russia Today website at 11:43 a.m. on their Thursday morning, which was 3:43 a.m. EDT---and it's another contribution from Roy Stephens.

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President Poroshenko Comes Calling on Washington—Bearing Big Lies and a Tin Cup

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s visit to Washington [was] the consummation of a marriage made back in February, when the Obama administration ripped up a compromise agreement between elected president Yanukovich and the rebels who were seeking to overthrow him. Overnight, the U.S. government endorsed the rebels’ seizure of power, and it has not wavered in its support of the coup leadership from that point.

Poroshenko will arrive in town buoyed by Congressional passage of H.Res. 726, a resolution “Strongly supporting the right of the people of Ukraine to freely determine their future, including their country’s relationship with other nations and international organizations, without interference, intimidation, or coercion by other countries.”

The lie is in the very title of the bill, however, as in supporting an anti-democratic coup against a legally elected government, the US has undermined, not supported, the right of the Ukrainian people to “freely determine their future… without interference…by other countries.”

This guest commentary by Daniel McAdams appeared on the David Stockman website on Thursday---and once again I thank Roy Stephens for sending it.

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Obama declines to give Ukraine 'lethal aid' despite Poroshenko's plea

President Barack Obama has declined to supply Ukraine with “lethal aide” despite the passionate plea for more military equipment that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko made to Congress earlier on Thursday.

During a White House meeting between the two leaders that occurred after Poroshenko’s address to Congress, President Obama said the United States would keep working to mobilize the international community in order for the conflict in Ukraine to be solved diplomatically, Reuters reports.

Following the meeting, Poroshenko said he was pleased with Washington’s help, and expressed hope that the shaky ceasefire in Ukraine would eventually lead to stability and peace.

Earlier in the day, however, Poroshenko suggested that NATO give “special” security status to Ukraine. Addressing the US Congress, he called on Washington to provide Kiev with “more military equipment, lethal and non-lethal” to “keep peace” in the eastern part of his country.

This is the second article from the Russia Today website.  It was posted there at 2:48 p.m. Moscow time yesterday afternoon---and it's also another offering from Roy Stephens.  Roy also sent a link to Poroshenko's speech in front of the Imperial Senate. [I know, it is nauseating, but still, please do watch it.  What Poroshenko is saying is that which the US deep state is thinking, and as such, it deserves our utmost attention (even if that means grabbing a psychological barf bag). - The Saker]---and the link is here

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The Tower of Babel Comes to Paris: The Folly of Obama’s “War” on ISIS

U.S. imperialism was once a fearsome force—-mainly for ill. Under the latter heading, Washington’s savage destruction of Vietnam four decades ago comes readily to mind. But now the American Imperium has become just a gong show on the Potomac—even as its weapons have gotten more lethal and its purposes more  spurious and convoluted.

There is no more conspicuous proof than Obama’s quixotic “war” on ISIS. The quote marks are necessary, of course, because the White House insists that this is merely a counter-terrorism project that is not really a war; that the campaign to “degrade, disrupt and destroy” the Islamic State will not deploy a single American soldier—at least not one with his or her boots on; and that the heavy lifting on the ground against the barbaric ISIS hordes will be conducted by a “broad coalition” of so far nameless nations.

In truth, the whole thing is a giant, pathetic farce. There will be no coalition, no strategy, no boots, no ISIS degradation, no gain in genuine safety and security for the American homeland. This is an utterly misbegotten war against an enemy that has more urgent targets than America, but a war which will nonetheless fire-up the already boiling cauldron of Middle Eastern tribal, religious and political conflict like never before. There is no name for what Obama is attempting except utter folly.

Even before Secretary Kerry brought his medicine show to Paris, it was evident there is no coalition of the willing—or even the bought.

This commentary by David Stockman showed up on his website on Thursday sometime---and it's the final contribution of the day from Roy Stephens, for which I thank him.

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Jim Rickards on Europe and China

Jim was interviewed on Russia Today's "Boom Bust" program on Wednesday and, as usual he has lots to say.  The interview runs from the 3:40 minute mark to the 11:20 minute mark.  Also on the program following Jim, is Marshall Auerback---and there aren't any flies on him, either.

I thank reader Harold Jacobsen for bringing this interview to our attention.

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Three King World News Blogs

The first interview is with David P. out of Europe---and it's headlined "A Major War is Now Raging in the Gold Market"---and the second with Egon von Greyerz is entitled "Here is the Great-Game Changer That Will Shock the World".  And lastly is this commentary by Nigel Farage---and it bears the headline "The Chilling Truth About Putin, Europe and Gold"

[Please direct any questions or comments about what is said in these interviews by either Eric King or his guests to them, and not to me. Thank you. - Ed]

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Super-rich rush to buy 'Italian Job'-style gold bars

The super-rich are looking to protect their wealth through buying record numbers of "Italian job" style gold bars, according to bullion experts.

The number of 12.5 kg gold bars being bought by wealthy customers has increased 243pc so far this year, when compared to the same period last year, said Rob Halliday-Stein founder of BullionByPost.

The bars which are made from pure gold and are worth more than £300,000 each at today's prices of $1,223 (£760) an ounce.

The sales of 1kg gold bars, worth about £25,000 each, has doubled during the three months ended August, when compared to the same period last year, according to ATS Bullion sales figures.

Sales of the more popular gold coins such as the quarter ounce sovereign and one ounce Krugerrand have also doubled this year, according to figures from BullionByPost.

This gold-related news item appeared on The Telegraph's website at 10:45 a.m. BST on Thursday London time---and I found it embedded in a GATA release.  It is, of course, worth reading.

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Gold and silver end game is here, Embry tells USA Watchdog

USA Watchdog's Greg Hunter this week interviewed Sprott Asset Management's John Embry about manipulation of the monetary metals markets. "I have never seen it any more intense in terms of pressure in the paper market, which indicates we are near the end and there is something seriously wrong with the system," Embry says.

The interview is headlined "Gold and Silver End Game Here: John Embry" and can be read and watched at USAWatchdog.com Internet site. Harold Wiener was one of the first people through the door with this interview, but I borrowed the above paragraph of introduction from Chris Powell.

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China Opens Gold Market to Foreigners Amid Price Ambition

China will give foreign investors direct access to its gold market for the first time today as the biggest-consuming nation seeks to exert more influence over prices while boosting the yuan’s global use.

The Shanghai Gold Exchange will start trading contracts in the city’s free-trade zone that will be linked to its domestic spot market and available to about 40 international members including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and UBS AG. Access was previously limited to some Chinese units. Gold in China this year cost as much as $31 an ounce more and $42 less than the London spot price, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“It’s indicative of the ambition to move the gold market more to where the consumption is,” Victor Thianpiriya, commodity strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said by phone from Singapore. “It makes sense that price discovery occurs in the center of consumption.”

This Bloomberg article, co-filed from Singapore and Beijing, appeared on their website at 8:05 a.m. MDT yesterday---and it's another article I found in a GATA release very early yesterday morning.

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Sep 18, 2014

Yellen: Fed balance sheet to take years to shrink

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says "it could take until the end of the decade" to shrink the Fed's record investment portfolio to more normal levels.

The Fed's response to the 2008 financial crisis has swollen its balance sheet to more than $4.4 trillion from less than $1 trillion roughly six years ago. Fed officials responded to the downturn in the economy with three rounds of bond purchases to try to hold down long-term borrowing rates to spur spending.

The Fed plans to end its latest round of buying Treasurys and mortgage bonds after its next meeting in October. It would then look to reduce its balance sheet once it begins raising a key short-term rate from its record low near zero.

The above three paragraphs are all there is to this brief AP story from yesterday---and it's courtesy of West Virginia reader Elliot Simon.

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U.S. House passes Fed audit bill but measure is seen doomed in Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives today overwhelmingly passed a bill that would open up Federal Reserve monetary policy decisions to a congressional audit, reviving a measure passed in 2012.

But the legislation approved by the Republican-dominated House is expected to meet a fate similar to its predecessor's: death in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The "Federal Reserve Transparency Act" passed 333-92 in a bipartisan vote. It is largely similar to the 2012 "Audit the Fed" bill championed by former libertarian Representative Ron Paul.

I thank reader Brad Robertson for sending me this Reuters story yesterday, but I borrowed the headline from a GATA release. 

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Food-stamp enrollment in Illinois outpaces job creation by nearly 2-to-1

Illinois’ sluggish jobs recovery is coming at a tremendous cost. For every post-recession job created in Illinois, nearly two people have enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

In the recession era, the number of Illinoisans dependent on food stamps has risen by 745,000. Without adequate job creation in the state, Illinois families have had no choice but to depend upon food stamps to put bread on the table.

The Prairie State has had the worst recovery from the Great Recession of any state in the U.S. There are nearly 300,000 fewer Illinoisans working today than in January 2008, and 170,000 fewer payroll jobs.

This interesting article was posted on the illinoispolicy.org Internet site on Tuesday---and I found it in yesterday's edition of the King Report.

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Scottish independence vote spurs Texan secessionists

Thursday’s vote to decide whether Scotland should be independent of the United Kingdom has bolstered Texans campaigning to split the state from the United States.

Texas Nationalist Movement president Daniel Miller, who wants the state’s legislature to put the secession question on a state-wide ballot, said Scotland’s referendum is a positive sign for his movement.

“If Scotland can do it, so can Texas,” Miller told Reuters. The top US cattle- and oil-producing state would be the 12th largest economy in the world, larger than Mexico or Spain, said Miller, whose organisation has campaigned for secession since the late 1990s.

Miller said Scotland’s referendum has increased interest in the Texas movement and the fact that a free Texas would lose big federal institutions like NASA and multiple military bases was of no concern to him.

“Win or lose, the Scottish referendum is both serving as a source of inspiration and information about what’s happening here in Texas,” Miller said.

This news item appeared on the france24.com Internet site on Wednesday sometime---and it's the first offering of the day from Roy Stephens.

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$30 million bounty set to identify who shot down MH17 in Ukraine

$30 million will be given to those who help identify the perpetrators of the downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine that killed all 298 on board, said an independent German fraud investigation company.

Two months have passed since the Malaysia Airlines plane on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot-down in eastern Ukraine on July 17 with 298 crew and passengers on board who all died in the crash. A preliminary report into the disaster carried out by Dutch investigators and issued on September 9 said that the MH17 crash was a result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that struck the Boeing from the outside.

The investigation company Wifka, based in Schleswig-Holstein, north Germany said that it has been charged with investigating the case of the downing.

Wifka said that the client who preferred to stay anonymous will pay $30 million dollars to whoever provides evidence that identifies those behind the shoot down.

This story appeared on the Russia Today website at 4:11 p.m. Moscow time on their Wednesday afternoon, which was 8:11 a.m. EDT in New York.  It's the second offering in a row from Roy Stephens.  South African reader B.V. sent us a similar story headlined "‘£18million for whoever tells us who shot down MH17’: German detective agency offers huge bounty after anonymous backers provide massive war chest".  It was posted on the dailymail.co.uk Internet site yesterday as well.

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Orders to Keep Troops on Full Combat Alert

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Wednesday he had ordered the defense minister to keep the country's armed forces in the highest state of combat readiness.

"I ask the defense minister and the interior minister [to ensure] full combat readiness and supply everything that the army or the National Guard needs," he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, a Russian Foreign Ministry's human rights representative stressed the countries, truly interested in putting an end to the crisis in Ukraine, must suppress the attempts to derail the ceasefire by what he called the "war party" in Kiev.

This short article appeared on the RIA Novosti website at 4:22 p.m. Moscow time yesterday afternoon---and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it.

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Russia Calls Law on Special Status of Donbas 'Step in Right Direction'

Russia views the recent Ukrainian law on special status of parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk region as a step in the right direction, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

"This document is regarded by Russia as a step in the right direction and in line with the agreements outlined in the Geneva joint statement by Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the EU on April 17, as well as in the Berlin declaration of July 2," the ministry said in a statement.

"It creates a foundation for the launch of a comprehensive constitutional process in Ukraine, including the start of a dialogue aimed at facilitating the national reconciliation in that country," the statement said.

The ministry also expressed hope that all the provisions of the law would be strictly implemented by Kiev authorities in order to avoid a return to confrontation and violence in eastern Ukraine.

This story is also from the RIA Novosti website.  This one showed up there at 6:05 p.m. Moscow time yesterday evening---and once again my thanks go out to Roy Stephens.

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Pay up, Gazprom tells Ukraine

The future relationship between Ukraine and natural gas company Gazprom depends on resolving lingering debt issues, the Russian company said.

Gazprom says it's owed $5.3 billion from Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz. Similar debt issues in 2006 and 2009 resulted in suspension of gas deliveries, and Gazprom said it's time to pay up.

"The future relationships between the companies are fully dependent on settling the debt payout issue," the company's board said in a statement Tuesday.

This UPI story appeared on their Internet site at 8:41 a.m. EDT yesterday---and it's another contribution from Roy Stephens.

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Cold Turkey: Ankara not keen on supporting US led anti-ISIS coalition

Turkey remains a key ally of the US despite Ankara’s refusal to back Washington’s bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Syria, the State Department said. Ankara is fighting claims that militants are entering Syria and Iraq through its territory.

"When it comes to Turkey, we share a partnership with them that's essential," deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Wednesday.

"They play a key role obviously in the region. And ISIS is a threat to Turkey's security. And they felt the ripple effect from this, quite frankly, more than most countries in the region."

Turkey was present at a meeting last week, where the US tried to get a coalition together to deal with the problem presented by the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). Although 10 Muslim nations in the Middle East did sign up, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey abstained.

This news item appeared on the Russia Today website at 4:12 p.m. Moscow time on their Wednesday afternoon---and it's the final offering of the day from Roy Stephens, for which I thank him on your behalf.

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People's Bank of China pumping 500bn yuan through SLF to top 5 banks

Sina.com reports that the PBOC will use their Standard Lending Facility to add 500bn in liquidity.

Not sure what to make of this news on the face of it as they have been drawing liquidity out of the system, but nothing around this size.

Update: Sina.com is citing a banking analysist Qui Guanhua whi says they will be providing 100bn yuan to each bank today and tomorrow with a 3 month duration.

It looks like a short term pump rather than anything more worrying but we’ll keep an eye on it.

That's all there is to this story that was posted on the forexlive.com Internet site on Tuesday---and it's another article I found embedded in yesterday's edition of the King Report.

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Jim Rickards: Hedge Against the Next Crisis

Cash, gold and “real” assets, such as infrastructure and agricultural resources, are the place to be for investors, argues best-selling author and economist James Rickards.

Rickards, who wrote The Currency Wars and The Death of Money, is adamant that he is not a pessimistic sort of guy. But he has few soothing words to say about the economy.

The global economy, in his view, has been in depression since 2007 and investors may yet face either deflation or much higher inflation – and potentially both.

“Ultimately inflation has to come,” he says.

Jim made these comments when he was speaking in Australia last week---and an executive summary of what he had to say was posted on the afrsmartinvestor.com.au Internet site.  I thank Harold Jacobsen for digging this up for us.

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Three King World News Blogs

1. Rick Rule: "Massive Fund Flows Pouring Into Gold and Silver"  2. Gerald Celente: "Propaganda Aside, It's Bad Out There and Getting Worse"  3. Victor Sperandeo: "Legend Warns of Destructive New Policies for U.S. and Europe"  

[Please direct any questions or comments about what is said in these interviews by either Eric King or his guests to them, and not to me. Thank you. - Ed] 

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Gold loses luster on Fed; Barclays cuts forecast

Gold prices dipped Wednesday on concerns about a stronger dollar ahead of the Federal Reserve policy statement and in response to Barclays lowering its gold forecast.

But the precious metal may get a reprieve in the short term as the Fed’s statement, released after gold settled, reiterated that the central bank will keep interest rates low for a “considerable time” after it curtails its bond buying program.

As for the vote on Scotland’s independence, Edward Meir of INTL FCStone expects the “no” vote to prevail, but said markets could get dicey if it doesn’t.

“We do expect to see a massive short-covering rally in gold if Scotland votes ‘yes’, an event that should be momentous in terms of the economic fallout on both the U.K. and Europe,” Meir said.

Well, dear reader, the only reason that gold 'dipped' yesterday, is because JPMorgan et al were standing by to make sure it happened.  This marketwatch.com story showed up on their website at 3:22 p.m. EDT yesterday---and I found this article over at the Sharps Pixley website.

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Mike Kosares: Scottish secession, not the Fed, just knocked gold down

Gold has been knocked down last night, not by anything said or done by the Federal Reserve yesterday, but by rising fear of Scotland's secession from the United Kingdom and the separatism it is likely to encourage throughout Europe, Mike Kosares of Centennial Precious Metals in Denver writes.

This fear---and the usual algorithmic trading programs, Kosares contends, have goosed the dollar.

This has "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" about Scotland.  Da boyz always like to hit gold and silver at the 6 p.m. EDT open---and after what they did earlier in the day, the down ticks at the open were 'all the usual suspects' in action, kicking the precious metals while they were down.  This commentary appeared on the usagold.com Internet site yesterday---and I found it over at the gata.org Internet site.

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Facing Death in the Search for Silver

This brief 3:47 minute video clip, was 'borrowed' from The Telegraph---and posted on The New York Times website at 3:47 p.m. EDT on Tuesday.  And I was wrong, this is Roy Stephens' last offering of the day.

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Sprott's Thoughts: Get Your Money ‘Out of Banks and into Something Tangible’

In a recent call with Eric Sprott, founder of Sprott Inc., he said he was still buying physical gold -and planned to keep buying it for as long as he could. The gold shortage that he talked about in our May interview is still there, and economically, things aren’t getting better. “When people finally decide they want to buy gold, there probably won’t be any gold,” he explained.

This interview by Henry Bonner was posted on the sprottglobal.com Internet site on Wednesday---and it's definitely worth reading.

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